New Hope UMC


February 18, 2016.

In attendance: Linda Heape, Mark Fairey, David Hutto, Cathy Hutto, Glenn Houser, Sue Whetstone, Art Whetstone

We begin our study of the Life of David. This study is by Ralph Wilson, also the author of Paul's Letter to the Philippians. The study contains 13 chapters. Each of the chapters has an online discussion forum, similar to the one contained in Philippians. We will publish the links for the discussion questions each week on the This Week webpage. After the lesson, we will add some comments and archive the to a webpage, David, located under the Bible Study menu on the website.

We are leaving Paul and going back in time to the David. These two charismatic figures are somewhat alike. Both loved the Lord in a total way. Both were sinners of the first order. Both were blessed with a gift for expressing themselves eloquently and persuasively. Their writings had a profound effect on the spread of Judaism and later Christianity.  

David was a central figure of the Old Testament. The second of a long line of kings, he was selected by God to replace Saul. His was perhaps the most storied reign of all of the 37 kings of Israel. But there is more to David than a man who occupied a throne. He was a musician, a poet, a warrior, But more than just a prolific lyricist and musician, David was a worshiper. His music wasn't just popular love songs. It was worship. It comprised the intense emotions of struggle and the high freedom of praise and everything in between. Music gave voice to David's faith and his soul-felt prayers. Wilson, Ralph F. (2012-08-05). He composed about half of the Psalms, which we read responsively every Sunday. We will learn about this man, his history and influence, his actions, but also we will look into the soul of one who loved the Lord and expressed it perhaps better than anyone before or after.

Our first week will be largely based on the Introduction which includes the setting of the story of David. We will look at the time frame of David's reign and his contemporaries, including his enemy, the Philistines. Time permitting we can go into the some of the questions in the first chapter. These are presented below to facilitate lookup. 

Discussion question 1. (1 Samuel 15:22-23). What is rebellion? In what way is rebellion as bad as witchcraft or occult practices? What does rebellion have to do with arrogance? What can we do when we find rebellion against God in our hearts? What happens if we do nothing?

Discussion question 2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice? What is our instinctive way of discerning? How is God teaching us to discern? How do we learn to listen to the Spirit? 

Discussion question 3. (1 Samuel 1:13) What is the significance of Samuel anointing David? What is the significance of the Holy Spirit coming upon David? How does this explain his success? How is the Holy Spirit upon us vital for our own success as disciples?

Discussion question 4. (1 Samuel 16:14-23) From Saul’s perspective, why is David summoned to court? From God’s perspective, what seem to be the reasons for this service in Saul’s court? What things tend to prevent us from learning from God in the midst of the circumstances in which we find ourselves? What might make us more teachable?

Chapter 1: Samuel Anoints David as King. 1 Samuel 15-16. 

February 25, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Denise Metts, Bill Metts, Sandra Whetsell, Art Whetstone. 

"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry." (1 Samuel 15:22-23a)

"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b)

"So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power." (1 Samuel 16:13)

Saul, not David, was the first king of Israel. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel as was David. In this chapter we will learn about Saul's disobedience to God and how he squandered his opportunity. The Lord made his disappointment in Saul know to Samuel and he communicated it to Saul. But Saul continued in his rebellious ways. He did what he wanted to and not what the desired.

We learn about disobedience and its consequences. We also learn about the joy of obeying the Lord and how to discern what the Lord wants of us.

The Holy Spirit left Saul and was replaced by the evil spirit. The Holy Spirit also came to David. We will see how these two figures of the Old Testament reacted differently to this.  

Discussion question 1. (1 Samuel 15:22-23). What is rebellion? In what way is rebellion as bad as witchcraft or occult practices? What does rebellion have to do with arrogance? What can we do when we find rebellion against God in our hearts? What happens if we do nothing?

Discussion question 2. (1 Samuel 16:3-12) How does this story teach us the importance of listening carefully to God's voice? What is our instinctive way of discerning? How is God teaching us to discern? How do we learn to listen to the Spirit? 

Discussion question 3. (1 Samuel 1:13) What is the significance of Samuel anointing David? What is the significance of the Holy Spirit coming upon David? How does this explain his success? How is the Holy Spirit upon us vital for our own success as disciples?

Discussion question 4. (1 Samuel 16:14-23) From Saul’s perspective, why is David  summoned to court? From God’s perspective, what seem to be the reasons for this service in Saul’s court? What things tend to prevent us from learning from God in the midst of the circumstances in which we find ourselves? What might make us more teachable?

 We followed the usual format with Wlson study guides - each of the sections led by a participant. The sections follow the four questions, so a section is read our outlined and then a discussion takes place along the lines of the question presented in the guide. We also refer to the forum responses which can be linked to with a smart phone or computer. We can alos view the question on the screen but the resolution isn't very good. 

Members were treated to a spaghetti dinner, compliments of Sandra Whetsell who purchased the meals from First Presbyterian's annual event. Member Glenn Houser brought the meals to us. 

Chapter 2: David and Goliath. Bold Faith. 1 Samuel 17. 

March 3, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone. 

Key Verses:

"Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." (1 Samuel 17:36-37)

"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." (1 Samuel 17:45)

""All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."(1 Samuel 17:47) "

David and Goliath is one of the legendary stories of the Bible. A young shepherd lad takes on a mighty giant. Everyone in the Israelite army was terrified of Goliath who taunted them twice a day. Everyone except David, that is. He was guided by the Holy Spirit and knew that it was the Lord's will that he would prevail. David was still a full time shepherd and a part time musician in King Saul's court. He had been anointed by Samuel but Saul hardly knew who he was. This will play out in the story as well as a conflict with one of David's brothers.   

Discussion question 1. Q1. (1 Samuel 17:26-30) Why is David so upset about Goliath's taunt? Why is Eliab, David's brother, so upset with David? What does this teach us about David's faith? What does it teach us about Eliab's character?

Discussion question 2. (1 Samuel 17:34-37) What does David's explanation to Saul of his combat experience say about David's faith? How lethal is David as a warrior? Why do you think Saul allows him to go out to battle Goliath? Does Saul have faith? If so, what is the source of it?

Discussion question 3. Q3. (1 Samuel 17:47) Why do we so often forget that "the battle is the Lord's"? What does that phrase actually mean? How can we avoid the arrogance of pulling God into our battles ("God is on my side"), rather than engaging in His battles ("I am on God's side")? 

Chapter 3: Johnathon's Friendship, Saul's Jealousy. 1 Samuel 18-20. 

March 10, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Sandra Whetsell, Art Whetstone. 

Key Verses:Key Verses:

"After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself." (1 Samuel 18:1)

"When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes. As they danced, they sang: 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.'" (1 Samuel 18:6-7)

"Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul." (1 Samuel 18:12)

When David returned to Saul's court from his battle with Goliath, he remained in the court. There he met Johnathon, Saul's son and the heir apparent to the throne. A deep friendship was formed between the two, one that lasted their entire lives. It was severely tested as Saul became jealous of David to the extent that he sought to do him harm. David ends up marrying a daughter of Saul's, a veiled plot to get David killed in battle. This is a drama worthy of modern television, but in it there are many life lessons, especially regarding the character of David and his friendship with Johnathon. 

Discussion question 1. (1 Samuel 18:13-16). Why does Saul send David into battle? What is the result? To what does the narrator attribute David's success?

Discussion question 2.(1 Samuel 18:18-22) Which of the following is David's chief motive for marrying Michal, in your opinion? Argue for the motivation that makes the most sense to you: (1) pride in his military prowess, (2) obedience to Saul's desires, (3) love or desire for Michal, or (4) enjoyment in killing Philistines.

Discussion question 3. Q3. (1 Samuel 19:18-24) What does it tell us about Saul's faith that he pursues David even when he has sought the sanctuary of the prophet Samuel? Why do people prophesy when the Holy Spirit comes upon them? What is the relationship between this incident and the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)?

Discussion question 4. Q4. (1 Samuel 20:35-42) What is the nature of the covenant between David and Jonathan? What does David receive? What does Jonathan receive? Who benefits the most from this covenant? Is it self-serving -- or not? What is the significance that God is witness to the covenant?

Chapter 4: David Flees from Saul. 1 Samuel 21--23. 

March 17, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Sandra Whetsell, Bill Metts, Art Whetstone. 

Key Verses:

"David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him." (1 Samuel 22:1-2)

"Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, 'Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.' ... (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelech had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)" (1 Samuel 23:4, 6)

"David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands." (1 Samuel 23:14)


David is on his own, a fugitive, running for his life. Yes, God will be with him during this time -- abundantly -- but David is just learning to walk with the Lord. David is desperate and without resources to make an escape. There are many life lessons included in these chapters:

  1. Provision. God provides for his servants, even in times of desperate need, as David found bread and a sword in the house of the Lord.
  2. God's fashioning. Every great person has times of seeming failure, as well as times of success and adulation. Don't judge too soon that God has forgotten you. He is molding you into a finely-crafted instrument that he can use in his work.
  3. Leaders. Leaders tend to attract followers when they are struggling as well as when they're on top, as David gathered a band of mighty men in the wilderness. Look for a person that people are following and you'll find a leader.
  4. Learning. Times of struggle are often when you learn the most and do your best work. Don't discount the difficulties you face in your wilderness as wasted time.
  5. Guidance. The ability to seek God's will is a very precious gift. David had this in the presence of the Urim and the Thummim, the company of a prophet, and his own prophetic gift. You can find God's will if you seek him with all your heart, since, if you're a Christian, you possess the Holy Spirit of God who connects you with 

Discussion question 1. (1 Samuel 22:2) Why were David's men attracted to him? What did they have in common? Why kind of men were these? What difficulties do you think David probably had in leading them?

Discussion question 2. (1 Samuel 22:20-23:12) What did Abiathar and the ephod have to do with "inquiring of the Lord?" Why did David inquire of the Lord? What huge advantage does the person have who seeks God's will before acting? How can you find God's will at key points in your life?

Discussion question 3. (1 Samuel 23:14-18) Why does Jonathan visit David in the wilderness? What risk is there for David? What risk is there for Jonathan? What do you think it meant to David? Have you ever received a visit from a friend when you needed it most?

Discussion question 4. (Psalms 18, 34, 54, 56, 58, 59, 142) In these ascriptions to these psalms, how many celebrate happy occasions? How many arise from struggles? What does this tell you about David's relationship with God? What does this tell you about his faith during trials? Which is your favorite among these psalms? Why?


Chapter 5: David Spares the Lord's Anointed. 1 Samuel 24--28. 

March 31 and April 7, 2016.

In attendance, March 31: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone

In attendance, April  7.: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Denise Metts, Bill Metts, Art Whetstone.

"May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you." (1 Samuel24:12)2)

"David said to Abigail, 'Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.'" (1 Samuel 25:32-33)

(Tnis long lesson was divided into two weeky sessions.) David has two opportunities to kill King Saul, and both times he refuses to kill his arch enemy or allow his men to do so. Why? These accounts reveal something we need to learn about anger, pride, revenge, humility, and submission to the Lord's will. It contains some profound lessons taught against the background of the violence of the Late Bronze Age. 

David and his men, about 600 strong, flee to the widerness of En Gedi, east of Gaza. Saul pursues him with 3,000 men ahile asleep in a cave was approached by David, who cut off a piece of his garment. Later he showed it to Saul as evidence that he was close enough to kill him. But David heeded the cal of the Lord to refrain from doing harm to God's  anointed. We discussed the idea of blood guilt, or murder, as it applied in the Bible and how it applies today. 

A second time David again came upon Saul in asleep and stole his spear and water jug. Once again, Saul vowed to honor David and cease his actions against him. David did not believe him and fed again, this time to the land of the Philistines. He and his group became allies with the Philistines for over a year, even doing battle with some of the tribes of Israel. 

IN between, David took on another bride, Abigail, whom he met under interesting circumstances. She was married to Nabal, a weathy, but despicable man who refused to give provisions to David and his men. Abigail interceded to prevent violence. Then Nabal became stricken with illness and died, whereupon David offered his hand in marriage. This brought up a discussion of polygamy sincfe David had other wives. 

Meanwhile, Saul resorts to the use of a medium in an attempt to contact Samuel, who has died. He has at this point lost faith in God and instead of relying on the Holy Spirit, he ventures into the spirit world. We often do the same in our lives. The Bible expressly prohibits the use of the occult any many forms including necromancy, contacting the dead. The group engaged in a vigorous discussion on this topic. 


Lessons for Disciples

Respect. We are to respect the leaders that God has appointed over us, even if they aren't perfect -- which they never are (Hebrews 13:17a). David had respect for Saul as the Lord's anointed. God will judge those who rebel against His leaders, slander them, or speak evil of them (Acts 23:5b; Exodus 22:28).

Appeal. We can, however, respectfully disagree with our leaders, as David did before Saul, and appeal to their reason. And we can also appeal to God when a leader is out of line. God, who put the leader in place can (and perhaps will) remove that leader. Leaders must answer to God! (Hebrews 13:17b).

Humility. When we humble before a leader about to make a mistake, like Abigail did before David, and speak clearly and boldly, we can sometimes influence the outcome positively. Humility is appropriate for two reasons. First, leaders often struggle with pride. Second, we don't see everything the leader sees and may be wrong in our assessment.

Steadfastness. When God shows us one of his principles, we must stand up for it,  even if others don't understand us or criticize us, as David's men did when he spared Saul. We aren't to cave in under pressure.

Faithfulness. When we make a promise, we must do our very best to be true to our word, not like Saul, whose promise not to harm David was made and broken again and again. Neither God nor man have respect for a person who makes a promise and then changes his mind and does the opposite.

The Occult. We are to stay away from occult practices of any kind, and thoroughly repent of any involvement in the past that may have contaminated us spiritually or made us vulnerable to Satan's deception or oppression. 

Discussion question 1. (1 Samuel 24:1-15) Why doesn't David kill Saul when he has the chance? What motive do David and his men have for killing a king who is trying to kill them? What is David's rationale for sparing Saul? What does this tell us about David's character? About his faith? What does it say about David's leadership ability that he is able to dissuade his men from killing Saul? 

Discussion question 2.(1 Samuel 24:12) How do we apply the principle of not lifting a hand against the Lord's anointed in our day? What provisions are there in 1 Timothy 5:19-20 for calling leaders to account. What do you think God will do to those who slander, persecute, and martyr his appointed leaders? 

Discussion question 3. (1 Samuel 25) What do we learn about David's character in this incident with Nabal and Abigail? What do we learn about Abigail's character? Nabal's character? Why do you think this story was included in 1 Samuel? What important knowledge does it add to our understanding? 

Discussion question 4. (1 Samuel 28:7-14) Why do you think God condemns occult practices of communicating with the dead and channeling spirits of the dead? How might such practices open Christians to victimization and oppression by evil spirits? What should you do if you've been involved in such practices in the past?

Chapter 6: David Strengthened Himself in the Lord. 1 Samuel 29 - 2 Samuel 1. 

April 14, 2016.

In attendance, March 31: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Sandra Whetsell, Art Whetstone

Key Verses:

"David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God." (1 Samuel 30:6)

"The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike." (1 Samuel 30:24)

"How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!" (2 Samuel 1:25-27)


The Bible Story. 

David and his men, 600 strong, and their families are living in Ziklag, a Philistine city, as vassals of Achish, king of Gath, another Philistine city. War is about to break out between the Philistines and Saul's army of Israel. The Philistines are heavy favorites to win. David is asked to serve as a rear guard protecting Achish and with his men makes the journey to the battle site. However, some of the Philistine generals do not trust David reminding Achish that after all he is an Israelite "who has slain tens of thousands". So David is sent back to Ziklag. 

When he arrives, he finds that the city has been ransacked by the Amalekites and the women and children have been taken away as captives. Although weary, David and his men pursue the Amalelites and defeat them and return the women and children. Some of David's men blame him for their predicament and there is talk of removing him by stoning. This is when David writes some beautiful psalms about finding strength in the Lord. Some of these are included in the lesson. 

Meanwhile, Saul's army is defeated at Gilboa. Saul is killed along with 3 of his sons, including Jonathon. Scripture tells us that Saul took his own life after being wounded knowing that he would be tortured and shamed by the Philistines. When David learns of Saul's death, he does not rejoice. Rather, he writes a somber tribute to him, also included in the lesson.

Strangely enough, the messenger who brought the news to David of Saul's death was an Amalekite. When he bragged about it, David had him killed. In another twist, some of David's men, about 200, were too weary to participate in the battle with the Amalekites. But David shared the bounty equally with them, even though they did not deserve it. This brings to mind Jesus' parable about the workers who came late to the vineyard but were still paid a full day's wage. (Matthew 20: 1-16.) 

Lessons for Disciples

1. We must learn to strengthen ourselves in the Lord when our lives seem like they're falling apart. There are many examples of how to do this in David's Psalms.

2. When we can, we should share the Lord's bounty with others, even with those who may not deserve it.

3. We need to learn to die well so that our epitaph brings glory to the Lord, rather than disgrace.


Discussion question 1. (1 Samuel 30:1-6) Why do the men blame David? Why is the situation so explosive at this point. What does David do in the situation? What is David feeling? Why doesn't he act immediately?

Discussion question 2. (1 Samuel 30:6) From the Psalms of David, how does David seem to strengthen himself in the Lord when things are going bad? What devotional exercises does he adopt? What is the focus of his faith?

Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 1:19-27; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14) David is gracious in his memorial psalm. How does he remember Saul's life? How does the Chronicler remember Saul's life? How do you think God evaluates Saul's life? What do we learn from this?

Discussion question 4. (1 Samuel 28:7-14) Why do you think God condemns occult practices of communicating with the dead and channeling spirits of the dead? How might such practices open Christians to victimization and oppression by evil spirits? What should you do if you've been involved in such practices in the past?

Chapter 7: David Becomes King and Conquers Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 2 - 5. 

April  21, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone

Key Verses:

1."Then the men of Judah came to Hebron and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah." (2 Samuel 2:4a)

2."All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, 'We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, "You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler." 'When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel." (2 Samuel 5:1-3)


The Bible Story. 

If you think national politics are nasty in our day, then take a look at the political intrigue going on behind the scenes that finally resulted in David becoming king of all Israel. Politics was bloody! A quick ascendancy to the throne of Israel was not in the cards. 

First, David became king of Judah, the southernmost tribe. He established headquarters in Hebron and was still technically a vassal of Achish, King of Gath. So who was king of the other tribes? Ish-Bosheth, Saul's only remaining son, was that person. He was a weak ruler, bolstered by his uncle, Abner, who was Saul's chief general. Abner eventually defected when he fell out with Ish-Bosheth over a minor matter. So he pledged support to David. Meanwhile, Joab, David's general sought revenge aganst Abner, because Abner has killed his brother. He personally assassinated Abner. But somehow, he remained in good graces with David. 

Finally, David solidifies his kingship over all of the tribes of Israel and made his headquarters in Jerusalem. This is the first look that we have of this great city. It has not been a Jewish city up until this time, but in control of the Jebusites. Because of its central location and natural fortresses, it was a logical choice. David eventually overcomes the Jebusite opposition and reigned there for 33 years. He had reigned in Hebron for 7 years. 


Lessons for Disciples

1. Patience. Samuel had anointed David as king when he was perhaps 15, but he doesn't become king over Judah until he is 30, and doesn't become king over all Israel until he is 37. We have to be patient as God works out His will in His time.

2. Diplomacy. Sometimes we have a very simplistic view of doing God's will. Sometimes our efforts on God's behalf look like "a bull in a china shop." Just as David developed relationships and worked through careful diplomacy to bring about a united kingdom, so our ministries must be characterized by grace, wisdom, and love in the way that we work with people and groups as agents of God's Kingdom. Knowing God's will isn't enough; how we facilitate it is important, too. Seeking God.

3. Seeking God. David inquires of the Lord on three occasions in these chapters: (1) Where to settle after his exile, (2) How to attack the Philistine troops, and (3) How to attack the Philistines when they come again. If we think we know it all and stop seeking God, we get in a lot of trouble.

Discussion question 1(2 Samuel 3:22-39) Why does Joab slay Abner? Is he justified in doing so? How does this affect his king's unification plans? Why do you think Joab is so blind? How can our spiritual blindness get in the way of God working out His plan in our lives?

Discussion question 2 .(2 Samuel 5:1-5) Approximately how long has it been since David had been anointed king by Samuel?

Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 5:17-25) Why does David inquire of the Lord before he attacks the Philistines the first time? What would have happened if he thought he knew how to attack the Philistines, and didn't inquire of the Lord the second time? Why do we often want to figure out the process so we can act independently, rather than wait on God as a way of life? What does that say about God? What does that say about us?

Chapter 8: David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 6. 

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone

April  28, 2016.

Key Verses:

1."David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals." (2 Samuel 6:5)

2. "David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets." (2 Samuel 6:14-15)


The Bible Story. 


David is now in Jerusalem and is king of all of the tribes of Israel. It has been 22 years since he was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel. Much has happened during those years but through all of the challenges David has remained faithful to the Lord in a committed and expressive way. David wished not only to unite the peoples through a common kingship but through restoring worship which had languished under Saul with his outright disobedience and defiance of the Lord's commands. Recall that toward the end, Saul no longer sought the counsel of the Lord but resorted to mediums and sorcery.

Over the years the Jews had been dependent on their leaders to lead them in proper worship practices: first the Judges then King Saul and now King David. Rituals, symbols and protocol became very important. An important symbol and object of worship was the Ark and the Tabernacle, the Covenants of Moses. They had been separated and stolen, removed and returned. (See Appendix 7 for details). David was determined to have them returned and a tabernacle built in Jerusalem where they would remain forever. 

In this lesson, we trace the journey of the Ark and the Covenant and the difficulties that are encountered for David to reach his goal.  

Our discussion included the physical Ark and Covenant, where it had been, where it s now (unknown) and what it included which is primarily the stone tablets given to Moses. Thhe e importance of this to the Hebrew people and to God is emphasized by the difficulty they had in handling it the proper way. The procedure was set out in scripture but was not followed and resulted in the death of a person. David then decided that it was only meant to be presented in the way set out by God.

This symbol of worship was important to God and to the Jewish people. God expects us to act in a certain way and respect the scriptures. He expects leaders he had appointed to direct us in the correct way. In the Methodist Church we have traditions, protocols and ceremonies which are followed to the letter. Communion is one that was discussed. Sometimes we may tend to think that these actions are overdone, but this procedure, ritual and protocol is part of how we worship and should be respected.  

Lessons for Disciples

1. Seeking God's Way. David brings the ark to Jerusalem, but he doesn't take time to study the Word to see how it should be done. When he consults the Word, God blesses his efforts. We are to do God's will God's way!

2. Desire to Worship. David sets an example before us of joyful, self-less worship. He doesn't seem to care what others think; he will worship his God! So often we are passive about worship. One of the messages of this lesson and the Book of Psalms is involvement in and love of worship.

3. Bitterness and Despising. Michal despises her husband's enthusiastic worship of Yahweh because she allowed bitterness into her heart. We should search and cleanse our hearts so that our hurts don't keep us from understanding what God loves and desires of us.

Discussion questions:


Discussion question 1. (2 Samuel 6:1-10) Why does God strike Uzzah? Why is David so angry?


Discussion question 2 . (2 Samuel 6:11-13) How should the ark have been transported? How are Uzzah and David responsible if they don't know the provisions of the Mosaic Law? What does David's mistake in this incident teach us about seeking to do God's will?


Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 6:14, 22) How would you describe David's approach to worship? What does his dancing here teach us? What do we learn about praise from the psalms he wrote? Does what others might think affect your ability to worship? How has God been working in your life to teach you to worship him in spirit and in truth?


 Discussion question 4(2 Samuel 6:16, 20-23) What has happened to Michal that she is so bitter at David? How does her bitterness cause her to misjudge what she sees? Are you bitter towards God about something in your past? What effect might it have on your spiritual life? How can you find healing from the bitterness? What would have happened if David had conformed his worship expression to his wife's preferences?


Chapter 9: The Davidic Covenant. 2 Samuel 7. 

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone

May 5, 2016.

Key Verses:

1."This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth." (2 Samuel 7:8-9)

2."The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.... Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever."

3  (2 Samuel 7:11-13, 16) "I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you." (2 Samuel 7:14-15)


The Bible Story. 

 If you were to select ten of the most important chapters in the Old Testament, 2 Samuel 7 would be among them. The theme of the Davidic dynasty upon whose throne the Messiah would finally reign -- the true Son of David -- runs throughout the remainder of the Bible. Christians believe that the Davidic Covenant was fulfilled by the coming of Jesus Christ. Jews also believe strongly in the Covenant but they believe it is yet to fulfilled. Christians further believe that Jesus coming was not the end of the Covenant but that he will come again and set up his kingdom.  

From this point on to the end of the Old Testament, there are numerous prophecies spelling out details of the coming Messiah. The Davidic Covenant is the beginning of this crucial part of Biblical history in which our Lord Jesus Christ is forever linked to David. 


Lessons for Disciples

1.  Partial Revelation. We may have a glimmer of what God's plan is, but we must be patient until he reveals it and confirms it to us.

2. Quick to Speak. Don't be too quick to confirm someone else's vision, like Nathan was. Rather say, "Let me pray about that." Then seek God and listen for his voice. Don't speak before God speaks.

3. Patience. Don't be discouraged if God's promises don't seem to come to pass. If he has indeed promised something, he will fulfill it in his time.

4. Jesus Christ. Jesus the Messiah is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, which will be complete when he returns.


Discussion questions:

 Discussion question 1.(2 Samuel 7:1-7) Why is Nathan so quick to give David approval to build the temple? What should have Nathan done instead? What is the danger of leaders and followers too quickly approving major spiritual directions without really waiting upon the Lord? David's heart is partly right about building the temple though. Which part does David have right?

 Discussion question 2 . (2 Samuel 7:8-13) What are the main promises of the Davidic Covenant? Are these promises conditional or unconditional? Why does conditionality make a difference? Which of these promises is most important to you as a Christian?

Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 7:14-16) There is a conditional aspect in the Davidic Covenant -- that God will discipline David's descendants when they sin. How did God discipline David and his descendants?

 Discussion question 4. The Davidic kingdom did end in 587 BC -- temporarily. How did God fulfill his promises in the Davidic Covenant? In what ways is it fulfilled in Christ?


Chapter 10: David's Rise, Fall and Punishment. (2 Samuel 8-12. 

May 19, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Glenn Houser, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone

Key Verses:

1."The thing David had done displeased the LORD." (2 Samuel 11:27b) "Nathan said to David, 'You are the man!'" (2 Samuel 12:7a)

2. "Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the LORD.' Nathan replied, 'The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.'" (2 Samuel 12:13-14)

 The Bible Story. 

 As king of all Israel, David finds success beyond his wildest dreams -- but that doesn't seem to be enough for him. While he was a fugitive in the Judean desert, he had to rely closely on God, since his life was tenuous. But here in the palace, David is surrounded by wealth and luxury and any pleasure he could desire -- and that becomes his downfall. I recall the thorny soil in Jesus' Parable of the Sower:

"The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." (Mark 4:19)

It is a sad and cautionary tale from which we must learn, especially those of us from the relatively affluent West that allows us to become soft and feel sufficient in ourselves.

This is a long lesson. While the first part doesn't include many deep spiritual insights, the author has tried to fill in some of the geopolitical background context so we can understand better the empire that David developed. The real spiritual insights come later as we examine David's sin with Bathsheba.

Lessons for Disciples

 1. Faithfulness. God expects us to fulfill our promises, as David does when he honors Jonathan's son Mephibosheth -- at his own risk.

2. Arrogance. God's blessings can make us feel self-sufficient, arrogant, and spiri­tually dull to God's voice unless we are very careful to remain humble and thankful. Don't let blessing make you spiritually soft.

3. Temptation. Even godly men and women can be tempted and fall. We must put a guard around ourselves so that we don't ruin what God by his grace has built in our lives. You are not immune.

4. Confession. Covering up our sin can be worse than the sin itself. Honesty and confession are better than covering up (Psalm 32:3-5).

5. Confrontation. Confronting people with their sins is a delicate task that God sometimes asks his servants to perform -- with gentleness (Galatians 6:2-3). Don't take this upon yourself, but if God shows you how to do it, you can save a precious believer from ruin.

6. Repentance. God will honor repentance, if we come with humility and turn away from our sin. Psalm 51 can help you do this. (See Appendix 8. David's Psalms of Repentance.)

7. Mercy. Our God is merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:607; Numbers 14:18; Psalm 86:15; 103:8). You can trust your future into the hands of such a God, even if you have sinned grievously. Jesus is your Savior!


 Discussion questions:

 Discussion question 1(2 Samuel 9:1-13) Why does David honor Mephibosheth? What does this teach us about David's character?

 Discussion question 2 . (2 Samuel 11) How can a "man after God's own heart" do something so ugly, so despicable as this -- first adultery and then murder by proxy to cover it up? What does this teach us about our human condition? What is our problem as humans? How can David ever recover his integrity after this?

 Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 12:1-10) Why might it be dangerous for Nathan the prophet to confront the king? What device does Nathan employ get the king to listen to him? How does David's condemnation of the rich man's greed help him acknowledge and condemn his own actions?

 Discussion question 4(2 Samuel 12:10-14) What punishment does David deserve? What does he get instead? How does this punishment relate to the provisions of the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7:14-15? How do David's sins hurt God's glory? How do our sins reflect on Jesus Christ?

Chapter 11: Rape, Murder and Conspiracy in David's Family. (2 Samuel 13:1-15)

May 26, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone

Key Verse:

"In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him." (2 Samuel 14:25)


 The Bible Story. 

 This would seem to be a story about illicit sex between a brother and his half sister. You might even say that they could have just as well left this chapter out of the Bible. But it has implications for David and his kingdom and for the future of Israel. So the story and all its gory details are necessary to fully contemplate this piece of the history of Israel. Remember also that these events take place, not over days, but over years. So it's not over and done with but lingers for a long time in the minds and hearts of the participants and the Israelite people. 

Amnon is the first born and heir to the throne of Israel. He becomes infatuated with his half sister, Tamar. He does not come into contact with her often as he lives away from the palace in his own house while she dwells in the palace with the other daughters. But he arranges with the King to have her come to him while he is sick. He then attacks her and rapes her. He could have been commanded to marry her as was the law but he cast her out and would have nothing else to do with. Her brother (and his half brother), Absalom, go wind of it and vowed to avenge his sister. It was two years before this happened at a dinner where Amnon was attacked and killed by Absalom's men.

Absalom was next in line for the throne but David would have none of it and Absalom left Jerusalem in fear of his own safety. Through the efforts of Joab, Absalom eventually returned to Jerusalem and was reconciled with his father. But Absalom was not satisfied with his status and began working against David. He was very popular with the people and conducted public relations campaigns to increase his favor. Eventually he convinced his father to let him go to Hebron. He took with him 200 key military and advisory personnel and the stage was set for a great battle with the forces of David. 

Lessons for Disciples

1. Prophecy. Nathan's prophecy (12:10-11) comes to pass -- with terrible results. God's judgment is inevitable.

2. Learned Behaviors. The sins of the father often become the sins of the son. We don't sin in isolation. Our children see us and emulate our behavior. Parents, your most important ministry is to raise your children in the Lord by your godly example.

3. Discipline. We must discipline our children so long as they are under our authority. In many cultures, children are considered adults in their late teens. In other cultures, children are under their parents' authority far longer. We must do what we can. To neglect our responsibility to discipline shows a lack of love for our children (Proverbs 3:12; 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13; 29:15; 29:17). Showing favoritism to your own children rather than disciplining them lowers you in others' minds. When the king excuses his children for blatant crimes, he rapidly loses any credibility for righteousness and justice.

4. Situational Awareness. Pay attention to what is going on around you! Take action early, if you need to. David should have been aware of Absalom's attempts to undermine him, and taken steps to protect himself and his kingdom. In this case, neglect is extremely costly. Leaders in churches and other organizations need to know who is conspiring against them. We serve Christ in a fallen world.


 Discussion questions:

 Discussion question 1(2 Samuel 13:21-22) Why do you think David doesn't discipline his son Amnon for his sexual assault on his half-sister? What are the consequences of David's inaction?

Discussion question 2 .(2 Samuel 13:39-14:24) Why do you think Joab conspires to get David to bring Absalom home? Why do you think David does not immediately show Absalom his favor?

Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 15:1-6) What are the elements of Absalom's public relations campaign to win over the people to his side? How effective is it? What should David have done differently? Which of David's weaknesses does Absalom exploit?

Discussion question 4.(2 Samuel 13-15:13) It's difficult to find positive spiritual lessons in these sad and grim chapters. What negative spiritual lessons do you find?


Chapter 12: David's Exile from Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 15:14-20:26)

June 2, 2016.

In attendance: Mark Fairey, Linda Heape, Cathy Hutto, David Hutto, Art Whetstone

Key Verses:

"Let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD has bidden him. It may be that the LORD will look on my distress, and the LORD will repay me with good for this cursing of me today." (2 Samuel 16:11b-12))

"When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds, sheep, and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat; for they said, 'The troops are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.'" (2 Samuel 17:1-29)

"The king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, 'Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.' And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders concerning Absalom." (2 Samuel 18:5)

"The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept; and as he went, he said, 'O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!'" (2 Samuel 18:33))

"Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?" (2 Samuel 19:22)


 The Bible Story. 

 Absalom's coup in Hebron has been a success, and his support has spread up and down Israel "from Dan to Beersheba." The momentum has definitely shifted in Absalom's favor. David still has many supporters all over the land, but he can no longer rely on key elements of his strength outside Jerusalem.

In this lesson we will see Absalom's forces gain strength to the extent that David, mighty king of all of Israel, is forced to take his family and flee. David has hit another low point in his career and we discuss the reasons therefor. But he never loses faith in God and rallies to the cause, eventually defeating Absalom and his army.

There is intrigue, betrayal and deceit and David at times behaves strangely. But in the end, Absalom is defeated and the Kingdom of David in Jerusalem is restored according to God's purpose.  


Lessons for Disciples

1 .Weakness and strength. When we are weak and struggling, we often turn afresh to the Lord and become stronger in him.

2. Friends. Our true friends are those who rally around us when we're down and they have nothing to gain by the friendship. Friends show generosity in our times of trouble. Which friend of yours does God want to bless through you this week?

3. Submission. In defeat, we can learn submission to the Lord's will, much better than when we're fresh from victory.

4. Sovereignty of God. The battle is in the hands of the Lord.


 Discussion questions:

 Discussion question 1(2 Samuel 15:14-30) Why does David flee Jerusalem rather than stay and fight? What are David's emotions during this retreat? Why doesn't he take the ark with him into exile? Does this exhibit faith, fatalism, or submission? What does this tell us about his faith?

Discussion question 2 .(2 Samuel 16:5-14) Why doesn't David silence Shimei son of Gera from cursing him? Is this a political decision or a spiritual decision? What does it tell us about David's faith?

Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 18:1-19:8) Why does David command mercy for Absalom in the battle? Why does Joab kill him against David's orders? How does David's loud mourning threaten his kingdom? What does this say about his followers' loyalty? What does it say about David's faith? About his weaknesses?

Discussion question 4(2 Samuel 16-20) What does this passage teach us about David's character and faith? What does it reveal about Joab's character? What kind of faith do you see in Joab? What does this passage teach us about the importance of friends? Is Joab really David's friend?

Chapter 13: The Legacy of David. (2 Samuel 21 - I Kings 2)

June 9, 2016.

Key Verses:

"2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior -- from violent men you save me. 4 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies." (1 Samuel 22:2-4)  "2 The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue. 3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me...." (2 Samuel 23:2-3a)

 "Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men." (2 Samuel 24:14) "When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, 'I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall upon me and my family.'" (2 Samuel 24:17)

"I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." (2 Samuel 24:24a)

"As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place." (1 Kings 1:29-30)

"Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today." (1 Kings 1:48)

 The Bible Story. 

The final four chapters of 2 Samuel form a kind of appendix to Samuel -- but since 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings probably once formed a single work, they are more likely an "aside" or "excursus" within the flow of the narrative.. 2 Samuel 21-24 includes six elements, none of which can be easily dated within David's story. That's why they're probably grouped together here towards the end of David's life.

1.Exploits of David's Mighty Men against the Philistines (21:15-22))

2. David's Song of Praise (chapter 22 = Psalm 18)

3. The Last Words of David (23:1-7)

4. David's Mighty Men (23:8-39, already treated in Lesson 4)

5. David's Census of Israel (2 Samuel 24:1-9)

We conclude with David's death and Solomon's accession to the throne in 1 Kings 1-2.


Lessons for Disciples

1 Difficult Decisions. It's hard to know what to make of the incident where the Gibeonites demand justice. David seeks the Lord, the does his best to walk a tightrope between covenants, promises, and law. Some situations that leaders face have no great solutions at all. We can't hide from making decisions, even though the decisions may leave no one happy.

2.Time to Step Back. David's men finally prohibited David from going out to battle with his troops, because he was too weak. Knowing when to retire or step back from active work or ministry is difficult for us. Often our friends and family know better than we. We need to listen.

3. Praise and Faith. There are many lessons contained within 2 Samuel 22 = Psalm 18. These are lessons of praise, of faith, of God's great power, of righteous living, and of salvation to those who trust in God. We need to learn to praise God with a vision of faith no matter what we are going though.

4. Leading Righteously. David's "Last Words" remind us of the importance of ruling righteously. You may not be a king, but you may be a boss, a supervisor, a church officer, or on a board or committee that makes decision affecting the lives of others. God expects you to lead with righteousness, rather than with self-serving or partiality. 

5. Trusting in God's Grace. In the incident of the census, David has to make a decision about which penalty God will bring on the people. Though we don't normally have a clear choice as leaders, we see that David makes his choice based on his strong trust in the mercy of God. Trusting in God's mercy when we don't deserve anything but punishment is a good example for us to follow

6. Sacrificial Giving. When David is offered a ready-made sacrifice for free, he refuses to take it without paying because he understands the principle of sacrificial giving: "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." If our giving is just a token or a pittance, where we could afford more, it doesn't honor God.

7. Preparing for the Future. David spends much of his later years in stockpiling materials for the temple that he knows won't be built in his lifetime. As Paul says, "So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each." (1 Corinthians 3:7-8)

 Discussion questions:

 Discussion question 1(2 Samuel 22 = Psalm 18) What do you find the most inspiring in the language of this psalm? What encourages you the most? Write down all the various titles and metaphors used of God in this psalm.

Discussion question 2  (2 Samuel 23:1-7) How does David describe himself in verse 1? In what sense was David a prophet? What is the main message of verses 3-7? How can this psalm guide government officials and elected leaders in our day?

Discussion question 3. (2 Samuel 24:14-25) Why does David choose the punishment of a plague on the people rather than his other choices? David insists on paying Araunah for the threshing floor and the sacrifices. What principle drives this decision? How should this principle guide our own giving to God?

Discussion question 4((1 Chronicles 22-29) Why do you think David prepares for the temple, even after the Lord refuses to let him build it? How did David cooperate with the Holy Spirit in designing the temple and its worship? How did David's example in giving motivate others to give?